Banks requiring leak and moisture inspections before lending?

Here’s another solid indicator about the risks involved with buying a home built in NZ

There have been a growing number of phone enquiries to us saying “the bank would like a leak and moisture test on the home before they lend us the money”. So why would this be?

As you are most likely aware, the leaky home problem in NZ  is constantly talked about in the media… and for good reason. People are watching their bank balances plummet to the floor in legal fees because they didn’t get a moisture test before buying their home (not to mention the stress involved)… and guess who else risks losing money on leaky buildings? The banks!

Question: Would you lend your money to someone buying a home in NZ built between 1992 and 2004 (leaky home era), without getting it checked first with a thermal imaging camera and moisture testing equipment? Unlikely. I know I wouldn’t.

The banks can also see that some of these homes are ‘risky’ or potential leaky buildings, so to help reduce their risk, they also want to know if the home they are lending money on is a potential ‘lemon’. The bank may not require moisture testing if you have a very large deposit, but if you intend on borrowing the majority of the money, then don’t be surprised if an infrared moisture inspection becomes one of their lending conditions.

Are there any homes that don’t leak?

The majority of homes we inspect do have a leak of some kind. Some types of leaks wouldn’t warrant pulling out of a property deal, whilst others certainly would. EG.Would you prefer to find a shower leak that only requires the screen to be resealed, or find a leak running down the wall from ceiling to floor in a home with no cavity system and untreated timber (Common is leaky buildings)? Give me a shower leak anyday!

Take care when buying, because some homes simply aren’t as tidy as they appear… and most people find that out after they become unconditional on the home… because they didn’t want to spend the money up front to get it checked out.

Now that you know about infrared thermal leak detection, do you think you could buy a home without it? Some people would take the risk and ‘hope for the best’, but with all the leaky home issues in NZ, most savvy home buyers don’t take the risk of buying without an infrared building inspection first. Here are more thermal images of hidden leaks in ‘nice looking’ homes.